|Girish Shetti |||May 14, 2016 11:31 AM EDT|
(Photo : Getty Images.) China claims that other members supported China's move to block India's inclusion in NSG.
China on Friday defiantly defended its move to block India's entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), claiming that other members of the group supported its view that signing of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) is a pre-requisite for inclusion into the multinational body.
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"All the multilateral non-proliferation export control regime including the NSG has regarded NPT as an important standard for the expansion of the NSG," China's foreign ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said.
Lu Kang said China and other members of NSG unilaterally consider the NPT as a cornerstone for ending the illegal proliferation of nuclear weapons across the world.
In response to media reports that China is linking India's membership to the NSG with Pakistan's admission into the bloc, Lu noted that several other members have expressed their desire to join NSG.
"Apart from India, lot of other countries expressed their willingness to join," Lu said, without naming Pakistan. "The international community believes that there should be a side discussion in the NSG on this issue and a decision should be made in accordance with relevant rules. China's position is not directed against any specific country but applies to all the non-NPT members."
Four United Nations (UN) Members including India and Pakistan have not signed NPT - an international treaty that seeks to end nuclear proliferation.
China's statement about blocking India's move into the NSG comes nearly a month after a senior Pakistani minister admitted that Beijing helped Islamabad to block India's NSG membership.
Last month, China also blocked India's move in the UN to blacklist Pakistani terrorist Masood Azhar. Beijing's snub over the Masood Azhar issue created some diplomatic tension between India and China.
In response to China's snub, India issued a visa to Chinese secessionist leader Dolkun Isa last month, only to revoke it later after strong protests from Beijing. Last month, New Delhi also imposed import ban on several Chinese products like milk and smartphones.
Sources in New Delhi have revealed to the local media that the Indian government is contemplating imposing tough trade sanctions on Chinese companies seeking to invest in the country.
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